Shoes, glorious shoes (even in footloose Silicon Valley)

November 4, 2011

Silicon Valley is known for being more fleece than Ferragamo. But former Google executive Sukhinder Singh Cassidy is working on giving the place a makeover via her new shopping site, Joyus.com. Unlike other high-end shopping sites such as Gilt Groupe and Rue La La that are based in the fashion hub of New York, Joyus calls the dress-down Bay Area home.

That means she raises lots of eyebrows with her wardrobe. The picture below, snapped by a friend in the audience and uncropped, shows Singh onstage at tech confab AllThingsD Asia last month with Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg. No prize for guessing which shoes are hers.

Ironically, given her love for shoes, she says they are one of the toughest sells on her site, which features products ranging from cosmetics to baby presents to clothing in limited-time sales.

“We are still cracking the code on shoes,” she told Reuters. The category has “done fine, but it hasn’t knocked it out of the park.”

Meanwhile, she endures ribbings from her less-well-turned-out cronies in Silicon Valley. At a recent meeting with Twitter, she says CEO Dick Costolo paid her a mocking compliment on the high-heeled black ankle boots she donned that day, before admitting he wasn’t much of a fashion expert.

“Dick,” she says she shot back, “I can help.”

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